Teams prepping for NAC games

While conference games don’t start until January, Castleton’s men’s and women’s basketball teams are in full swing. The women’s squad, picked third in the North Atlantic Conference preseason poll, is looking to repeat its first place finish in the West while the men, picked fifth, are looking to improve on their 2006-07 third place finish.The Spartan men kicked off their season at the Roger Williams Tip-Off Tournament in Bristol, R.I… After falling to the hosts in the opening round, coach Ted Shipley’s team came back to a 102-77 win over Suffolk University to finish third.

After dropping games to Plymouth State and Middlebury, Castleton defeated Skidmore 90-72 in their home opener.

Junior Josh Howe led the team with 21 points, one of five Spartans to finish in double-figures. Leading 48-27 at the half, Castleton’s lead was cut to 19 with eight minutes remaining.

However, the Spartans were able to hold off the Thoroughbreds in part due to Chris Young’s 13 points and eight rebounds in the second half. Howe also contributed eight rebounds, six assists and five steals in the win.

Castleton hosts New England College Dec. 13.

Women’s Basketball

The Spartan women opened their season in similar fashion to their counterparts. Coach Tim Barrett’s team fell to Fitchburg State in the opening round of the Keene State Tip-Off Tournament. In the consolation round, Castleton couldn’t shake Mount Ida, but was able to come out ahead 59-58 for a third place finish.

The Spartans dropped their next two games to Plymouth State and Middlebury 54-59 and 55-76 respectively. Against Plymouth, Castleton tied the game at 43-43 with 11 minutes left. However, the Panthers pulled ahead throughout the next few minutes and finished it off with a pair of free throws.

Castleton travels to Western New England College Dec. 7.

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